Better products = less friction and higher performance, focused on important problems. It helps to learn from success and from failure. And with that introduction:
I actually found the list pretty tame (better critiques will surely follow in months ahead). The most disconcerting part is from Farhad Manjoo’s review, though BGR didn’t actually quote this part:
First there was a day to learn the device’s initially complex user interface. […] What’s more, unlike previous breakthrough Apple products, the Watch’s software requires a learning curve that may deter some people. There’s a good chance it will not work perfectly for most consumers right out of the box, because it is best after you fiddle with various software settings to personalize use. Indeed, to a degree unusual for a new Apple device, the Watch is not suited for tech novices. It is designed for people who are inundated with notifications coming in through their phones, and for those who care to think about, and want to try to manage, the way the digital world intrudes on their lives.
Apple Watch aims to introduce both 1) a new UI (glances, new home screen, plus Digital Crown and Force Touch) and 2) new habits (wearing a device, off-loading key tasks to it). With that in mind, the most worrisome part of each keynote (and there were two) was the seeming UI complexity. So, seeing Farhad Manjoo struggle, to some degree, further reinforces that worry.
What might be a root cause of this complexity? One issue may be the fact that Apple usually learns for a considerable period from others, prior to releasing its own product. Its product, then, is a measured and careful *reaction* to what has and hasn’t worked. But with Apple Watch, meaningful competitors are few, and they’ve only been out for 18 months (less, if you start counting at Android Wear models). Less time to learn may mean a less streamlined product. What do you think? Email me if you have another view.